Navigating Without Doo

Today after school, Charlotte carried across the gym floor a box that is half her size. She was so proud of it. Struggling to hold it up higher for me to see it across the full-length basketball court, the box slipped a little, and I could see the sadness in her face.

It’s the same sadness that I have carried with me since Buckeye died a month ago. It’s the sadness of letting go of something that you love.

Catching the box, with a triumphant: “Oh! Mama! We made a doghouse today! All the kids…well…some of the kids helped me make this! I’m going to use it for my brown dog at home. You know, the soft one. I can’t use it for Buckeye….because Buckeye died. He’s dead”. It’s a phrase that I’ve heard a lot from the younger two in the past month. I usually reply with a simple: “I know, honey.”

This afternoon driving home, I knew there’s more that I need to do for Charlotte. It’s been a month tomorrow that we lost Buckeye, and Charlotte is making daily photos of him, completing writing prompts about him at school, and she and Theo pretend play all the time including Buckeye in their play.

I decided not to research “what to do when a pet dies”, which if you know me at all, is not me. I research the heck out of everything. Instead, these were the “guidelines” that we utilized as we’ve gone through this process of our first loss.

  • I called a friend who has children the same age as mine, and asked her what she did when their dog died. I also asked her when she knew that they were ready for a new puppy.
  • We chose to have Buckeye cremated. His remains are in a velvet bag that we placed inside a vase. They’re sitting on a high table now in our living room, and we wrapped his collar around the top. Being that it’s winter in Ohio, burying him at this time isn’t an option. This has also given us the grace to touch the soft velvet bag, and to pick up and hear his collar jingle. Sound is a powerful memory.
  • We’ve continued to allow our children to explore their own feelings how they best need to. Charlotte chooses to draw pictures of Buckeye, and even make cardboard doghouses. Theo makes dogs of of LEGO bricks, and Greyson’s asked questions about what Buckeye was like as a puppy, and for Bill and I to retell some of the most epic Buckeye stories. (If you have your own epic story of Buckeye, please share in the comments below!)
  • We’ve reminded the kids that it’s absolutely okay to cry, or if they need to take a break. The kids went to school the same day that we found him sleeping forever in the living room, and I’m so proud of these tough as nails kids that they went to school after losing one of their best friends.
  • We’ve kept their routines. The kids choosing to go to school was part of their routine. We still close the gate to not allow a dog out of the yard.
  • Bill and I have broken down in front of the kids. A few days after he passed, I went outside and threw snowballs for him in the yard. Bill came out and asked me what I was doing, and I told him to throw a few snowballs for Buckeye. The kids stood in the playroom, and watched us as we threw snowballs for a dog that could only be seen by the five of us and our memories.
  • We’ve looked at photos of him over the years. Many photos that we didn’t even realize he was in. He was part of the foundation of the very ground that the kids have played on.
  • We made the decision that we would all have to be ready before getting a new puppy. We’ve discussed that a new puppy isn’t a replacement for Buckeye. A new puppy is wanted as part of this family. This loud family is too quiet.

Before dinner tonight, I got the notification that some books I had on hold were available. It was still early enough, and the kids were finished with their homework, so we made a trip to the library to pick up the books. While there, Charlotte wanted to go over to the “Parenting” section near the children’s books. I swear it was as if she was leading me over there-that it was one way for her to silently tell me what she needed to help her grieve. While she scanned the shelves for books with pink spines, I focused on the section on Death/Grieving. Flipping through a few, I settled on these two books:

I wasn’t sure when I would read them to Charlotte, or if she would let me read them to her. We got home, ate dinner, and then the boys went upstairs. There was a bit of tension in the air. I could tell something was bothering her. She sat on one couch, and then the other, and looked at me with her big brown eyes-a constant reflection to myself.

“Baby? Do you want to read those special books I picked out from the library?”

“Please.”

We snuggled in together on the couch, and Charlotte held my hand as I held the book. I hadn’t even started reading and I felt her tense body loosen up; that tension she’d been holding for the past month released. Hot tears began to fall, and together we sat there and cried.

We cried for the absence of tail sounds thumping the floor, and the giggles that naturally happen with a furry friend. We cried because he no longer greets us at the door, and the security blanket of knowing his bark would help us to feel safer at night. We cried for less fur we’ve had to vacuum, and wet noses sniffing half completed coloring projects on the floor.

We cried.

Because we’ve lost.

Untitled design-7It’s the first loss that the kids have experienced, and this has allowed us to remind them that this also won’t be the last. With the Lenten season approaching, I’m preparing for some big feelings and some big conversations to emerge from around the dinner table. We’ll continue to lean in together as a family, and into Jesus while we explore what those feelings are.

Tougher than the feat of getting a baby to sleep through the night, I managed to read both books while I choked back the tears. Next to me, Charlotte quietly wiped her eyes and when the last book was finished she let out a tiny sigh. Pulling away from me, she wiped her eyes again and said:

“He was the best dog.”

She’s right. He was the best dog.

All we can continue to do for our family, is to keep his memory alive. That’s the best that any of us can really do, for anyone that we’ve lost. Talk about them. Share their stories, and continue to keep their memory alive. It’s the moments with others: people and pets that make the moments into the memories.

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Buckeye Sluzewski

Buck-a-Doo

June 3, 2005-January 23, 2019

 

Two for Theo

It began with with this unassuming envelope that Charlotte brought home in her folder from school. It wasn’t a surprise. We knew that the re-enrollment paperwork would be coming home for us to complete and return so we could let their school know our intention for next year, and if they would be returning….or not.

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That night, after the kids were in bed, I looked briefly at the packet. Everything appeared to be the same as in previous years, except this year it included two additional pieces of paper.

Two for Theo. Two pieces of paper for my four year old. My last Preschooler. My last baby. A couple of days later, and with the kids playing a made up game that only siblings can, I sat down and proceeded to fill out their paperwork, looked at our budget to factor in the re-registration fees, and then put the completed paperwork back in the envelope, where it’s now been sitting on the counter for over a week; mocking me.

It’s just an envelope, right? Well, no. Inside are the contents of what is happening, and what is to come. Listen, I’m the first to tell anyone who asks how excited I am that next year, I’ll have from 7-3 every day to myself. I have daydreams of all the things I’ll be able to get done for work, and reading (gasp!) during the day for leisure, and maybe drag my butt back to Barre classes again. I can meet with friends during the day for lunch without having to rush out and pick Theo up from his half day of Pre-K, or meet my husband for lunch without having to think if we’re going someplace that’s kid friendly. It seems really promising that I’ll finally have a chance to maybe consider slowing down, and re-focusing on how I want my day to day to flow, and not just getting through one more hour, or one more day with being pulled in different directions all day long by the demands of the kids.

But that stupid envelope still sits along the wall on the counter. It’s a reminder that for so many years, I’ve been waiting for this moment to know that I survived, that we survived. We made it through the first five or six years of their lives.-The part that was supposed to be the hardest. And, I’ve got to be honest-the hardest work is yet to come. The knee-jerk reaction of not knowing if I’ve done everything right in his almost five years. Have I taught him to be kind? Have I shown him how to forgive? Have I helped him to feel confident in who he is? Will he make friends? Will he understand that not everyone loves Pee-Wee Herman as much as he does? These are all questions that I know deep down I do in fact have the answers for, but I feel as if sealing that envelope and turning it in to school is some weird finality of his early childhood years. These past four years that I’ve been wishing would speed up, just so I could slow down for a moment. Because, the thing is-this is the slowest our lives will ever be, ever again. I’ve been so looking forward to time for myself that I think I’ve forgotten that my time has been here all along.

It’s been snuggled by a kid at my side an a stack of books in our hands. It’s been in wiping God knows what from walls, and folding endless loads of tiny clothes. It’s been in repeating myself over and again, and gently reminding that the dog is not to sit on, that no the cats don’t actually like when you pull their tails, and for the love can you just.stop.running.in.the.house….?

Because here’s the thing: whatever “phase” you’re in right now-it’s the most challenging one you’ve faced. And, we’re always looking forward to what’s on the horizon, not what’s happening right in front of us. I’m going to do what my kids have been trying to teach me for the past nine years.

I’m going to slow down.

I’m going to be mindful of what is happening right in front of me.

I’m going to learn by their example, because kids are the ones that already have it figured out.

It’s the adults that make it confusing.

 

It’s time to turn the envelope in. He’s ready.

Ready

or not,

Here he comes.

 

Tackling the Bully of the World

I’m sitting with my trio at the kitchen table, while they use their imaginations like typical UBAM kids, and share with buzzing excitement these out-of-print cards that I scored at the More Store at National Convention this past week. If you’re not familiar with National Convention, you’re either A. Not an Usborne Books & More Consultant (and are missing out!) or B. Are an Usborne Books & More Consultant and did not make it to Convention (you’ll want to plan for Convention 2019 NOW!) I sat down with the intention to review some notes from this past week, and opened up my portfolio where this beauty of a book tumbled out into my hands.

I flipped through it.

I started reading.

I read it some more…and more. And then I glanced up and my children had traced and drawn about ten animals a piece, and before I knew it, I was finished with this book and sat here with my breath held. I looked at my three beautiful and unassuming children and my heart was filled with a combination of both joy and sadness.

Bully on the Bus by Kathryn Apel is the one book that we need right now. It’s the one book that every parent and educator should read. It’s the one book that every child should read and have read to them. It’s the one book that should be in every child’s back-to-school bag given to them by school administrators or PTO groups. Now, this is saying a lot from me, because I believe in the power of books and feel that one book is never enough.

The title of the book is predictable. Yes, there is a bully on the bus. Leroy is picked on by a much older student named DJ. He’s tormented by her daily on the school bus. Leroy’s big sister Ruby tries to step in when she can, but it’s ineffective. The bus driver has tunnel-vision to get all of the children home safely, and his focus is: driving, stopping, and moving on until his bus is empty for the day.

She’s big.

She’s smart.

She’s mean.

She’s the bully on the bus.

She picks on me and I don’t like it.

But

I don’t know

how to make her

stop.

Leroy faces what many other children who are victims of bullying face. He feels like he can’t tell anyone what is happening, he loses interest in school, he creates excuses to avoid his his regular activities and schedule, and he feels lost and even hopeless. He fears telling his parents, and is misunderstood until Ruby speaks up to help explain what it is that her younger brother has been dealing with.

Together with his parents, teacher, and school bus driver, Leroy spends his bus ride immersed in a book of Fairy Tales given to him by his teacher. She tells him that he has a Secret Weapon,  but Leroy doesn’t know what the secret is. Daily, on the bus he gets lost in his book. One single book, where he builds confidence, learns to read better, and learns that he has a voice with the power and knowledge from reading. He learns to speak up to DJ, channeling the inner wisdom gained from reading his Fairy Tales. He finds his voice.

Change

occurs.

Leroy stands up to DJ using his words. He doesn’t use his fists, his body, or a physical weapon. He uses his mind, and his voice. He uses his strength that was gained from within the pages of a book.

We’ve had too many tragedies and senseless acts in the past year, dare I even say in the past week? I find myself becoming desensitized to the school shootings, reports of suicide, and while mass shootings and high-profile suicides are yes, tragic, and yes something that is hard to grasp; what is happening closer to home?

What is happening

in

your home?

It starts at home. You and I? We are our child’s first teacher. Our memories are first created on the laps of our parents. We dive into feedings, and diaper changes, and snuggles and rocking. And, hopefully sooner than later, you introduce a book to your child for the first time. Will it be a classic children’s book? Is it a book gifted to you at your baby shower? Was it a similar title on your bedroom shelf next to a dusty trophy or baseball?

I’m going to let you in on a secret. Are you ready?

Continue to love your child more today than the first day that they were placed in your arms. Your child needs you more today than they did as a brand new baby. That may seem absolutely ridiculous, comparing your completely helpless newborn baby to a walking-talking-have-their-own-opinions child. Just because they no longer need you for all of their care, they do need you more now to be able to learn how to handle the tough parts of life, that whether we want to face them or not, we need to face.

I firmly believe that if we can start tackling life like Leroy, his family, his bus driver, and his teacher, we can start building the lives again of our children-all of our children who are so lost and confused in the world that we live in. Parenting is tough. There are days that I feel that I’m not sure how much longer I can keep wiping up the same spills, mending the same holes in the knees of uniform pants, or tying the same shoes, wishing my children would grow and learn; mature to be able to do more of these things on their own without my assistance. And you know what? It will happen. Someday. Sooner in fact, than I realize. But, somewhere along the way-we’re losing children. We’re losing families. We’re losing the grace and beauty of the day that is mundane with a carelessness that just makes me shake my head in disbelief and embarrassment that so many of us are raising the next generation of children who are not being shown and given to them the tools to find their voice and speak up. To not be afraid. To not share their good days with their bad days. To try to find ways to make our children happy and temporarily satisfied with more technology, less time outdoors, and less time getting lost

In the pages

of

a book.

Yes. This is the one book that your family needs. It is also the one small change that you can make, right now to create for your child and your family a home filled with hope, and love. Commit to helping your child find their voice.

 

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This book is now available for purchase! At the original time of this publication, the book was not yet listed on my website. To order, please visit: 

https://e4209.myubam.com/p/7127/bully-on-the-bus

If you are a teacher, educator, counselor, or therapist in the Greater Cleveland area and would like several copies for your school or organization, please let me know and I can assist you with adding this book to the homes of the amazing children in your care. 

For more titles from Usborne Books & More, please visit: E4209.myubam.com 

 

From This Moment Forward

kindergarten-webiteIt’s happening.

My daughter starts Kindergarten in twenty-eight more days, and yes, I’m counting.

The thing is, since before she was born, I’ve been counting with her. In the beginning, it was just how many more days until I reached the next trimester of pregnancy, how many more days until Greyson was no longer an only child, and how many days could I possibly go past my due date before my Midwife gave her an eviction notice. Shortly after her birth, it was how many minutes she had nursed, how many hours we succeed in a certain brand of cloth diaper before a major leak, and how many hours I had left caring for two tiny humans before my husband got home from the day.

I can’t forget sleep-or the lack of. Charlotte did.not.sleep. Ever. A ten minute car nap between leaving the grocery store and home, was the equivalency of twelve hours of sleep on cold medicine. At her sixth month photo shoot, girlfriend was doing downward-dog poses, and by 8.5 months she was walking, closely followed by her running after her big brother, and her new obsession: our cat Marigold. How did one tiny person (as in only the 20th% for height and weight) have this much energy, curiosity, and pack more in a day as a tiny tyrant toddler of sleep smuggling? I counted the minutes it took to finally get her to sleep for the night, and enjoyed seeing when I got a full three hours and seven minutes of sleep before spending the next two hours and twelve minutes fighting with her to go to sleep again, as she sat on my lap touching my face as if she needed to memorize every fine line and worry wrinkle she was causing me.

And then, the unimaginable happened: we got pregnant again. My pregnancy with Theo is an entirely different story; one that I don’t like to talk about often, because it was miserable, intense, and full of fear. Instead of enjoying his pregnancy, I spent more time counting down the days when I would finally feel better again. We brought Theo home from the hospital, when Charlotte was 21 months old. And, guess what she did?

She slept through the night. From that moment forward, I knew that it would never be the same. Charlotte, unknowingly overnight accepted her title of not only being the middle child, but being the only sister; the small sister that we can all count on. The next morning is when I stopped counting with her.

Parents are told too many times that the years are short, and to enjoy every moment, and that it’s not okay to want to run away from your children. But, guess what? The years are too short. The years are full of enjoyable moments. It’s also okay to have too many demands to meet in the day in raising tiny humans that the thought of a true break seems fleeting, and guilty, and that it’s not okay to want to be away from the army of children that you’ve created. And, so to deal with the daily flow, we start counting again.

We count how many months until they are ready to potty train, and the months before they start Preschool, and the distance between older and younger siblings in school to consider the cost of their education and if, when, maybe, and how.

So, here we are. The days of counting on, planning for, and memorizing, have led to: your child is starting Kindergarten.

For those with children who are moving off to college, maybe you wish you could be sending your child off to Kindergarten all over again…I’m not sure. I’ve got years between now and then, and I’m not counting how long that time is. For now, I’m going to sit here with my baby girl next to me, as she erases and draws again the horn on the Unicorn she’s been working on all afternoon. We’ve got nothing but time.

 

 

 

Tuesdays in Tremont!

Strawberry Recipes

Please join me on Tuesdays starting at 4:00 p.m. for my very first Weekly Event at the Tremont Farmers’ Market!

Each week I’ll have a variety of Usborne and Kane Miller books to choose from, a Book of the Week and a corresponding FREE craft, and the opportunity to support other small businesses and stock your fridge and pantry with local produce, baked goods, and more.

Tremont Farmers’ Market is one of the largest week-day Farmers Markets in the Greater Cleveland area.

Shop Local.

Buy Local.

Heights Reads.

Keeping the Magic of Christmas

My eight year still believes in Santa Claus. In fact, I’m confident in saying that he also believes in the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. If I had any doubt earlier this year as we started decorating for Christmas if he still believed, it was quickly squashed this morning at the breakfast table.

Yesterday, my daughter knocked our Elf, Snowball, from his watchful place on a rogue decoration still hanging up from her birthday party in October. The paper globe hung in the arched doorway leading upstairs, and two nights ago, my husband moved Snowball to hang off of the decoration. If you’ve got the visual (or the song) of Wrecking Ball going through your mind, you’re spot on in how Snowball was hanging off the paper lantern.

According to my friend who was watching the kids, chaos ensued. Charlotte was traumatized, Greyson started crying, and Theo stood there stunned all watching this lifeless Elf fall quite ungracefully to the floor. And, this is why:

My children, including my eight year old, still believe in the Magic of Christmas. It’s that simple.

Yes, we have an Elf. Yes, he joins us shortly after Thanksgiving. No, we don’t dress him up, arrange him in elaborate displays at midnight (looking at you, those with a Pinterest board devoted to Elf Shenanigans). No, the children are not allowed to touch him once he’s joined our family until Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, the kids can play with Snowball all day long, because they understand that Santa picks Snowball up when he delivers their Santa Present on Christmas Eve night. Santa scoops him up, places him carefully in a bag with other Elves who have been picked up on our street and all over the WORLD and then he hangs out at the North Pole until Santa decides when he needs to arrive to our home again next year. Wait. What did I just read?

You read correctly. Together with my husband, we create the Magic of Christmas. Our budget is not extensive, our time is quite limited, and my patience is usually over by 7 p.m. every single day. And still, I’m proud of the fact that at 8 years and 4 months old my oldest son still believes in Santa Claus. Want to know the secret?

We have been authentic each and every year what Christmas is all about. First and foremost, it is in celebration of Jesus’ birth. We give gifts to others to celebrate Jesus’ life. My oldest son was 3 before he met Santa Claus for the first time. We’ve been fortunate to be able to go on the Polar Express for the past several years, and take part in that magical part of Christmas while the kids get to talk to Santa while on the trip. Each year I hold my breath, waiting for my children who are now reading to read the familiar signs to prove that we otherwise are not physically at the North Pole. Fingers crossed for this year too!

It’s hard to keep the magic and the “secret” of Santa alive. But this morning, when I sat across the table from Greyson, he had legit big kid tears streaming down his cheeks. He was concerned that Snowball was permanently damaged; that his magic was gone because Charlotte had touched him making his magic go away. So, I don’t need to question whether or not he believes. What I have to do, no-what I need to do is to keep the magic alive for him this year.

Tomorrow marks nineteen years that my grandparents have been gone. Maybe I’m nostalgic thinking of all that has happened in nineteen years, and that I wish they had been a physical part of. I know that they would love these children to pieces if they were still here and in good health.

So, to all of you who are questioning if you tell your child the truth, or if you’re looking for ways to make Christmas more Magical this year-keep it authentic. This season will be over before we know it, and so will the chances that next year at this time will Greyson will still believe. And, when we get to that point with him and his siblings, we’ll figure out how to tell the truth of the story behind Santa Claus. But, the thing is: Christmas is still magical. Embrace it while you can.

Now to figure out what to do with our Elf.

Beth

Hanging Out: Sloth Flow

I love sloths. I think that they’re magical, and my husband recently told me about this program in California (correct me if I’m wrong!) where you can have an overnight with a sloth. Let me repeat that: YOU CAN HAVE AN OVERNIGHT WITH A SLOTH. So, I’ve clearly added to my bucket list to have an overnight sleepover with these nocturnal magical creatures to feed them and watch them hang out, while the rest of the world is sleeping. In the meantime, I’ll gladly participate in activity with my children which requires them to mimic like a sloth, just like this upside-down artwork from our Mother Goose Time Curriculum this week.

While we were setting up their art station, I showed them some supplemental videos that I found on YouTube about DiVinci and his paintings, and together the kids and I discussed what they thought it must have felt like for DiVinci to complete so many of his paintings lying on his stomach and his back. The kids sat down in their chairs and then asked how they were going to draw. When I told them “On your backs. Like a sloth. Like DiVinci”…they were definitely not too excited about completing this task. You can even tell in the first two pictures below that Charlotte was not thrilled with being unable to draw the way in which she’s most familiar.

Creative Development

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Trying new things isn’t always fun!

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Charlotte’s expression tells us all exactly how frustrating this was for her!

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See? Keep trying! Getting better the longer she drew upside down.

Charlotte was more than happy to be done with her upside-down art project. Charlotte will confidently be reading before she starts Kindergarten this coming Fall, and she’s building her confidence even more with the I Can Read books provided each month with our curriculum. The sight words each month are already pre-cut and I need to get around to laminating them so I can put all of them together on a binder clip. I think that this will be ideal for our busy life, and for Charlotte and Theo to both have easy on-the-go access to a variety of site words.

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I had Charlotte circle the words that were the same on the arrow site word cards.

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Theo preferred coloring over the words, which was a win in my book! He’s slowly starting to like writing with intention and purpose!

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Theo started circling the first word on this passage, and then quickly changed his mind and decided to color the pages.

Thank you for joining us and reading about some of the things we did this past week with our Mother Goose Time curriculum! See you next week!

 

AS A MOTHER GOOSE TIME BLOG AMBASSADOR, I RECEIVE MOTHER GOOSE TIME CURRICULUM IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST AND AUTHENTIC STORIES RESULTING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCES IN IMPLEMENTING THIS CURRICULUM WITH MY CHILDREN. ALL OPINIONSAND THOUGHTS ARE MY OWN AND ARE IN NO WAY INFLUENCED BY OTHERS.

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Rainforest Week Two

This is our second week in exploring the Rainforest Adventure with our Mother Goose Time Curriculum. Here’s a glance at some of the activities we did this week!

Mathematics and Reasoning

I fondly remember singing the song “Five Little Monkeys” with my Preschoolers when I was teaching in a brick and mortar school. It’s always easier for me to engage in a lesson with my own children when it’s something that I’ve done in the past. It’s always been easier for me personally, to teach other children than my own children.

In this particular lesson, the instructions said to tie the string between two chairs, or the wall and the chair. We tried a couple of different times to secure the string to the wall, and I couldn’t find my trusty 3M hooks, so my oldest had the brilliant idea of hanging the string from the cup-hooks that are always on the underside of our mantel for our Christmas stockings-genius! The kids insisted on hanging the poster right next to the string, so I had a label nearby from an earlier project.

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Five Little Monkeys. I love that the provided materials with the lessons are so colorful but simple at the same time!

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The trio quietly sang the part of Mr. Jaguar, quiet as can be to snap the monkey out of the tree!

I love that this lesson was great for both Math and Reasoning, but also for Language and Literacy and Social and Emotional Development. Theo’s been struggling with number correspondence, so this was a huge improvement for him to show me that there were two monkeys left, after counting out “One…two…” monkeys that were left on the string. This may not seem like a lot, but this was one of the more recent activities where he’s not lost all of his confidence in not getting the answer correct the first time.

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Creative Development

I was really excited to work on this Aboriginal Dot Art project with the trio! Whenever I get my monthly curriculum, I quickly glance over the necessary materials that I may need to get if I don’t currently have a specific supply on hand. I had recently purchased some bolder colored paints (per request by Charlotte). As I anticipated, she did choose to use some of the brighter and bolder colors for this project. How beautiful is the example to show what Aboriginal Dot Art looks like?

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Carefully making small dots on their geckos.

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Theo decided that he needed a series of lines and dots.

 

 

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My attention-to-detail kid, needed to make sure that the gecko had fingernails.

Looking forward to our lessons next week! Thanks for reading about our week!

 

 

AS A MOTHER GOOSE TIME BLOG AMBASSADOR, I RECEIVE MOTHER GOOSE TIME CURRICULUM IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST AND AUTHENTIC STORIES RESULTING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCES IN IMPLEMENTING THIS CURRICULUM WITH MY CHILDREN. ALL OPINIONSAND THOUGHTS ARE MY OWN AND ARE IN NO WAY INFLUENCED BY OTHERS.

 

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Rainforest: Week One!

If you have any kiddos in your home who love science as much as mine do, you’re going to LOVE this week’s lesson with Mother Goose Time. We took a glance at what we were doing this week in our STEAM Stations, and the kids were all so excited and wanted to jump in right then and start learning!

Here’s a glance into how we incorporated some of our lessons from this past week!

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Taking turns with the dropper to add water to our bread for our experiment with mold growth.

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My youngest is still building strength with those important fine motor skills that are a precursor for writing. This was also a great lesson with the theme this month of Family and Togetherness. His sister carefully talked him through how to “capture” the water and then how to squeeze it again to release the water.

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Nothing to see here. Totally normal to have three pieces of bread hanging in my kitchen window. I labeled these as Bread with Water, Control: No Change, and Toasted Bread.

After our discussion of how mold grows, we got sidetracked talking about fermented foods. The things these kids come up with! The next day, we carefully followed the directions with our potato and root experience.

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Theo and I had quite the conversation at the grocery store while picking out our potato. After handling pretty much all of the potatoes (sorry, Wal-Mart in South Euclid, Ohio), Theo decided that this was the potato we should get. This one was already sprouting buds, which he thought was pretty cool, and I agreed would help to show the growth process!

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Ta-da! Our potato are ready to get some sunlight!

 

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I quickly drew  these little cups (I’m no artist!) and had the kids draw what they saw as part of their observation. I love seeing the difference of their observations!

Check back next week to see how our mold growth experiment and root experiment are going!

 

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AS A MOTHER GOOSE TIME BLOG AMBASSADOR, I RECEIVE MOTHER GOOSE TIME CURRICULUM IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST AND AUTHENTIC STORIES RESULTING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCES IN IMPLEMENTING THIS CURRICULUM WITH MY CHILDREN. ALL OPINIONSAND THOUGHTS ARE MY OWN AND ARE IN NO WAY INFLUENCED BY OTHERS.

Recommended Reading: Rainforest Edition

I just received my November curriculum yesterday, and November is going to be so fun! I’m especially looking forward to the STEAM Stations! Growing mold, exploring the Forest Floor, and Building a Nest are top on my list to share with my children.

With a new month quickly approaching, I’ve taken the guesswork out for you and have curated my top picks for books from Usborne Books & More for you to add to either your home or classrooms. Check out the list below and find out what made my #1 Must Have resource for November’s Theme Web on Rainforest Adventure.

Rainforests

Secrets Of The Rainforest

Rainforest to Color

Above and Below

Shine-A-Light Secrets of our Earth

Great Animal Search 

Ants

Underpants for Ants

Monkeys

Snakes

Deadly Animals

The Jungle Challenge (NEW title by Bear Grylls!)

Frog on a Log

Tadpoles and Frogs

Lift-the-flap Opposites 

My number one-must-have for the month of November and learning about the Rainforest is:

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This awesome activity comes with 10 3-D masks. Think of all the great Dramatic Play and Music & Movement activities you can come up with!

I hope you enjoyed my recommendations! As a special thank you for checking out my list, I’d love to offer to you a savings, but you must email me to receive the reimbursement, as my online ordering system does not accept coupon codes. Please email me at: beth.with.usborne@gmail.com and I’m happy to pass on to you this exclusive savings!

Keep Reading!

Beth

As a Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador, I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from personal experiences in implementing this curriculum with my children. All opinionsand thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

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